Falkner is a dhampir, a human-vampire hybrid. They’re rare and not well accepted by the supernatural world in general, which is why he’s never told anyone, not even his best friend with benefits, Andrew. That plus knowing he’ll eventually lose him when Andrew falls in love pushed Falkner to try to put some distance between them.
Andrew knows something is going on with Falkner. He’s been in love with him for years, but he’s never had the guts to tell him, not even now that they’ve crossed the line from being only friends to being more. He’s terrified he’ll lose Falkner and their friendship, and those two things are the most important in his life.
The only reason Richie agreed to move in with the coven is that he wants to help James learn control over his shift and his wolf. He never expected to start falling in love with two vampires, especially since Falkner and Andrew are already an item—kind of.
Richie’s presence pushes Falkner and Andrew to finally talk, but he’s not the only new one in town. A group of dhampirs has moved in, and even though Falkner wants to believe the best of them, Andrew and Richie suspect there is more to the group than what they allow Falkner to see.
Falkner suspected Andrew would have purred if he’d been a cat.
He was curled up next to Falkner, so close that he would have been in Falkner’s lap if he’d been any closer, and he looked so content that Falkner didn’t have it in him to tell him he couldn’t feel his butt anymore.
He should tell Andrew to move, though. Having him at a safe distance would hurt less, both physically and emotionally.
“Did you guess?” Andrew asked.
Falkner blinked. “Guess what?”
“Who the killer is.”
Falkner hadn’t been paying attention to the movie they were watching. He couldn’t focus on anything that wasn’t Andrew, not in this position. “Uh, the nurse?”
Andrew tilted his head and looked up at Falkner. “Have we been watching the same movie?”
Falkner rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m sorry. I’m a bit distracted.”
Andrew’s lips curled into a smile that made Falkner want to squirm. It made him feel warm all over, even though he knew he shouldn’t think about that. “Distracted?”
Falkner shrugged. “You know I don’t watch much TV.”
Andrew pouted. “I thought you were distracted because of me.”
Falkner was. “I’m just not much into the movie.” He’d never admit it was because of Andrew that he had no clue what was happening on the screen.
He should have been able to. He and Andrew had been friends for much longer than they’d been friends with benefits. The fact that they were having sex now shouldn’t have changed anything.
But it had.
Falkner wasn’t sure how much longer he could take this. It felt like the hardest thing in the world not to blurt out he loved Andrew when they were together, and not just during sex. Falkner would probably be able to brush it off if it happened then. But it was at times like now, when they felt like a real couple rather than friends who were scratching an itch, that it became next to impossible to keep his feelings to himself.
He loved Andrew. He’d loved him for decades, and he’d never thought he’d be able to have this. He didn’t, not really, but it was better than not having it all.
Although he wasn’t sure of that anymore.
Thinking that Andrew only wanted sex from him hurt, even though he was doing his best to keep Andrew at arm’s length. Maybe if things had been different—if he had been different—he would have told Andrew he was in love with him. But things were the way they were, and there was no changing them. Falkner couldn’t change what he was, no matter how much he wanted to.
And he did. It was too easy to imagine what would happen if anyone in the coven found out he was a dhampir, a human-vampire hybrid. Most supernatural creatures didn’t see dhampirs positively, and for good reasons. Dhampirs didn’t usually come into this world because the mother wanted them to, and mothers were almost always the human part of the couple. Bearing a vampire hybrid could be lethal, and it usually was, both for humans and other creatures who might find themselves carrying such a baby.
Faulkner’s mother hadn’t made it.
“You’re making me worry,” Andrew said.
Falkner realized he hadn’t been paying attention—again—and that Andrew had probably asked him a question he hadn’t answered. “Sorry. I was thinking about who else might have done it if it wasn’t the nurse.”
Andrew’s eyes narrowed. He probably didn’t believe Falkner, but thankfully, he didn’t question it. “I can tell you who it was, if you don’t want to see the end. I should have realized this wasn’t your kind of stuff.” His frown deepened. “I just wanted to spend a few hours with you without the rest of the coven watching us and wondering what’s happening between us.”
Since Falkner wondered the same thing, he couldn’t blame them. “They’re not used to seeing us like this. We’ve always been friends, and only friends. They have to be surprised.”
Andrew huffed. “Maybe so, but it’s none of their business, and they’re making me uncomfortable. I hate feeling like I can’t touch you because they’ll start to speculate about what it means.” He grinned and stroked a hand up Falkner’s thigh. “Although of course, this wouldn’t be the kind of touching I’d do if we were in the living room with the others.”
Falkner swallowed and forced himself to smile back. Would Andrew be disgusted if he found out what Falkner was? Falkner had never told him. He’d never told anyone, because it was safer that way. He’d already died violently once, and he didn’t want to repeat that experience.
Andrew’s hand got dangerously close to Falkner’s groin. Falkner would have let him continue at any other moment. He wanted to even now, but he felt incredibly vulnerable. He was going to break sooner or later and tell Andrew how he felt, and he’d ruin everything.
But today wasn’t the day. It couldn’t be.
Falkner sprang out of bed as if something had bitten him.
Andrew toppled onto the mattress with his eyes wide.
Falkner licked his lips and smiled, hoping Andrew wouldn’t notice how manic the smile was. “I’m thirsty. Do you want something from the kitchen?”
“Is everything okay?” Andrew asked.
He looked so perfect spread out in Falkner’s bed. His blond hair was slightly longer than he usually wore it, and he’d probably cut it soon, but Falkner liked it this way. It felt good when he ran his fingers through it.
Falkner cleared his throat. “I’m fine. Just thirsty.”
“Of course. Do you want anything, then?”
Andrew shook his head and flopped to his back to watch the TV screen. “I’m good. But be quick, okay? You’re going to miss the big reveal, and I’m going to miss you.”